Frequently Asked Questions about Pdplayer

What is Pdplayer?

Pdplayer is a professional image sequence player and viewer for the 3D, CG and VFX industry, created by Asynthetic and distributed by Chaos Software. You can also see it described as a RAM player or a flipbook.

The most basic use of Pdplayer is to play back image sequences such as img_0001.tga, img_0002.tga, ..., img_00158.tga, although it can do a great deal more than that. Please browse through the Features for more information about Pdplayer's abilities.

Is there a free evaluation version?

Yes, free trial versions of Pdplayer are available from the download area and from Chaos Software.

Do you offer floating (network) licenses?

Yes, we do offer floating licenses out of the box. Once you have a license for a specific machine, you can run the license server on it and then use Pdplayer anywhere on the local network. See Support, Pricing and Licensing for more information.

What operating systems are supported?

  • • Windows XP SP2, Vista, and 7, 32 and 64 bit
  • • Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
  • • Fedora Core 10 or compatible, CentOS 5 or compatible

What are the limitations of the Mac and Linux versions?

The following features are not supported on Mac and Linux:

  • • External device output;
  • • Live video layers;
  • • The --attach command line option;

What are Pdplayer's system requirements?

Pdplayer places no requirements on the video card. There are no fixed CPU and RAM requirements; these depend on the specific tasks. For simple PAL or NTSC playback, a 1.5 GHz CPU and 512 Mb or 1 GB RAM may suffice. Working in larger resolutions and with more layers increases the CPU requirements. Increasing the amount of RAM allows one to fit more frames into memory. Increasing the hard disk speed allows one to load sequences faster, or, with a sufficiently fast RAID array, even play back directly from disk (use Layer » Disable Caching for that.)

Does Pdplayer support multiple CPU cores?

Yes, it does. The more cores you have, the better.

Does Pdplayer support more than 2 GB (4 GB) of RAM?

The 64 bit version supports more than 4 GB. The 32 bit version supports 4 GB when run under a 64 bit version of Windows, 2 GB otherwise.

Does Pdplayer take advantage of GPU acceleration?

No, Pdplayer's pixel engine is completely CPU-based. Modern multicore CPUs provide enough computing power for its needs. One advantage of this decision is that Pdplayer does not require a powerful GPU and can run well on most notebook computers.

Does Pdplayer support 3D lookup tables (LUT)?

Pdplayer does. See What's New in Pdplayer for more information.

Why do my EXR (TIFF, RPF, VRIMG...) images appear washed out?

By default, Pdplayer assumes that floating point values are linear (have a gamma of 1.0). If your images are sRGB (or have a gamma of 2.2), pick sRGB from the Color Space chooser in the Color tab of the property panel.

Why don't my AVI or Quicktime movies load?

A likely reason is that you are using the 64 bit version of Pdplayer and the necessary codec is 32 bit. Try opening the file in Pdplayer 32. The two versions can be installed side by side.

Does Pdplayer support MPEG (MPEG-2, DV...) files?

Pdplayer can open any file that is recognized by DirectShow, but the quality and performance may vary widely from machine to machine as it's determined by the third-party codecs in use.

Can Pdplayer show alternate EXR or VRIMG layers?

Pdplayer 1.0.2 can. See What's New in Pdplayer 1.0.2 for more information.

How do I export multiple layers to a movie?

Use File » Save Mask as Sequence.

Does Pdplayer have command line options?

Hundreds. See Section X of the manual or the file pdplayer.cmdline.txt in the installation directory.

Is Pdplayer's composition format documented? Is there a text-based format that can be edited?

Pdplayer's composition format, pdpcomp, is binary, not documented, and changes between versions. You can use File » Export Composition as to export a composition to Pdplayer's pdpcmd format, which is a simple text file and can be edited.

How can we create a Pdplayer composition from a script?

Generate a pdpcmd file that describes the composition. A pdpcmd file is a sequence of Pdplayer command line options. The easiest way to get started is to create a similar composition in Pdplayer, then use File » Export Composition as and create a pdpcmd file for it, which you can use as a template.

Can Pdplayer export to Combustion, Fusion, Toxik...?

Not yet. If you are proficient in the scripting language of your compositing application, you can export to pdpcmd from Pdplayer and then write an import script. We will help in any way we can.

How can I open a sequence that is numbered in a way Pdplayer does not recognize, such as image.1.tga or frame_1_scene_01_shot_05.tga?

Drag the folder containing the sequence from Windows Explorer onto the Pdplayer window.

How can I convert a VRIMG sequence to an AVI/Quicktime movie?

Open the sequence in Pdplayer and use File » Save Layer as.

Why does my Pdplayer composition look slightly different in Nuke?

To meet its real time constraints, Pdplayer's compositing engine operates in 8 bit sRGB. Nuke works in linear floating point and produces results that are physically correct.

When you say that a feature will appear in a future release, do you mean that it will appear in a free upgrade?


I am evaluating Pdplayer and want to test the features that are disabled in the trial version, how can I do that?

Please e-mail us at and ask for an evaluation license.

Why is the application called Pdplayer, when it is obviously more than just a player?

The naming reflects our focus on Pdplayer's realtime performance.

Why use Pdplayer instead of a full-featured compositing application?

For sequence reviews, presentations, and so on, you need a tool that starts instantly, loads fast, and is simple. Most compositing programs cannot flip through frames the way Pdplayer can because they are optimized for different tasks.

I don't see my question listed, where do I ask?

Please use the support forum or e-mail us at